Looking Back

Looking Back for Feb. 6, 2019

Bell Café and Lloyd's Army Surplus Store in DeKalb, 355 E. Lincoln Highway, 1948. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.
Bell Café and Lloyd's Army Surplus Store in DeKalb, 355 E. Lincoln Highway, 1948. Thanks to the Joiner History Room for the photo.

1919 – 100 YEARS AGO

Charles Pavey, an employee of the Melville Clark Piano company, is an enthusiast when it comes to photography, and for some time has been studying the art of coloring photos, until he is becoming almost expert at the work. Stills Drugs store now has on display some of the work executed by the young man, and it displays every sign of an expert. Mr. Pavey’s friends about town will hope to see more of his colored photography in the near future.

George Felder, former proprietor of the interurban station restaurant here, who moved to Sandwich, has recently acquired the Crescent restaurant at Sandwich, owned by William Burkhart. The Felders, in writing to their relatives here, state they are enjoying a liberal patronage at the south end city.

Sycamore is going to have a band according to an announcement in the papers from the county seat today. The new musical organization is to be composed of 15 musicians who live in Sycamore and is to be under the direction of C. F. Toenniges. Rehearsals of the new organization are to commence very shortly and it is probable that before many months the new organization will be making public appearances.

A deal was completed this week whereby Harry Wagner becomes owner of the 80-acre farm now occupied by John MacQueen of South Grove, which is one of the best improved farms in DeKalb County. Mr. Wagner does not intend to go farming, but will place a competent man in charge of the work there, will have a little extra work now and then, and as he said yesterday, “will help me to save a little money.”

The first of the week the two buildings of DeKalb, the fire station and the city hall, received new flags, and when the one was put up at the fire station an amusing incident took place. Fire Chief McEvoy lowered the flag that had been used for some time and when about to start the other one to the half way mark on the staff, he heard a child yelling from the alley directly across from the station. There standing rigidly at salute, was the little four-year-old son of Frank Biagini and those who witnessed the incident remarked of the little fellows’ patriotic stunt.

A big strapping fellow put in an appearance at the police station last night, and asked for a night’s lodging. When asked if he had any money, said he was broke, and that he had given $100,000 to the Red Cross, and had helped every other war cause with his money. The man gave his name as Fred Sturgeon of U. S. A. and after a night’s sleep at the city hall, he was accompanied to the western city limits and given the usual orders for such characters.

1944 – 75 YEARS AGO

Farmers of the community are all smiles following the precipitation of the last two days, as in many places the ground was becoming extremely dry. While there is considerable frost in the ground, and if the weather should turn cold and freeze severely, it also would be a help, some of the rural experts say. Firemen of the DeKalb department do not anticipate any grass or roof fires for at least 24 hours, according to a report at the station during the forenoon.

Under the management of Tom Sanders, of Rockford, the State Street Café, formerly operated by George Felder and later purchased by J. W. Thuma, of the Sycamore Preserve Works opened yesterday. The placed has been overhauled, new equipment installed and has a larger seating capacity than before.

One piece of furniture has been removed from the police station the last few days that has been a fixed part of the place for many years. The old desk as one enters the station from the alley has been sent to the garage for the city street department crews to use. The piece of furniture was of early vintage, had been around the place 35 years or more and was becoming so that it was nothing but a dust catcher. The boys at the garage have cleared it up, made a few necessary repairs and it will be of use to them.

According to E. E. Houghtby, all hemp growers in the area of the Shabbona mill have completed their part of the 1943 growers contracts. The first load of straw passed over the scales on October 26, and the last load was delivered to the mill on January 19, 1944. Hemp growers in Kirkland and Shabbona areas are to be highly commended for the excellent job that was done even in the face of great handicaps. Growing hemp was an extra load at a time when labor was extremely scarce.

1969 – 50 YEARS AGO

Twenty percent of the registered voters of DeKalb County went to the polls yesterday and approved the $800,000 bond issue. The approval makes possible the completion of the third floor of the DeKalb County Nursing Home, the remodeling of portions of the present building to create 218 beds meeting federal requirements and 60 beds for sheltered care.

Northern Illinois University security officials are investigating three minor fires that have been started in Gilbert Hall during the past week. In one of the fires, someone poured lighter fluid under a door and lit the fluid. In the second fire, a roll of tissue was set on fire in the second-floor bathroom. In the third fire, a coffee can was set afire in the stairwell leading to the basement of Gilbert Hall.

Police Chief Richard M. Mattis advised the Daily Chronicle this morning that the proposed skating rink at the Old Sportsman’s Pond located at the north end of North Cross is extremely dangerous. The area of the pond was cleared yesterday to provide a place for skaters, but an open area was discovered on the west side of the pond along the north end. Residents are advised not to attempt to skate on the pond until further investigation of the situation can be made.

1994 – 25 YEARS AGO

A decade of research into technology to manipulate the building blocks of life may be paying off for one local company. DEKALB Genetics Corp. has been granted a patent for a corn variety resistant to one of the crop’s biggest threats which can cause more than $1 billion a year in damage. The new corn plant created its own pesticide to ward off the European corn borer.

A bank and a flower shop seem to have little in common, but for two local businesses the formula for success was the same. Glidden Campus Florist and First Nation Bank in DeKalb say giving their employees more authority and stressing customer service are the driving forces behind their growth. The companies have one other thing in common. Both have been names Business of the Year, by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

The DeKalb School Board has reached an agreement with its teacher’s union allowing driver education to continue as always, with district staff behind the wheel. Under the agreement, the board will not use its waiver from the State Board of Education and bring in a private firm to handle driver ed. Instruction, at least for now.

• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.

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